Connect with us

Pro Late Models

HP Elite Engines resigns from SEAL program

HP Elite Racing Engines will no longer be part of the Sealed Engine Alliance Leaders program. This follows an incident last month in which a car using one of its engines was disqualified at Montgomery Motor Speedway followed by a series of penalties levied against engine builder Jeff Hamner.  First a statement from the SEAL program and then a response from Hamner himself.

Officials with the Sealed Engine Alliance Leaders (S.E.A.L.) announced today that a previously certified engine rebuilder for crate engines will no longer be a part of their program.

HP Elite Racing Engines notified S.E.A.L. officials that their company will no longer be part of the certified sealed engine rebuilder program. In lieu of paying the required fine following the discovery of multiple infractions, HP Elite Racing Engines chose to resign their position within the program.

With this resignation, S.E.A.L. officials have determined that engines with HP Elite Racing Engines seals will still be considered legal and may currently compete without a weight penalty but will most likely come under additional scrutiny.

Racers with these engines will have until January 1, 2025 to have their engines re-certified by an approved rebuilder. After which time, they will be considered unsealed, and be subject to a 100 lb. weight penalty.


I wanted to post a statement about our resignation from the SEAL approved crate rebuilder list.

There were a lot of occurrences that led to this decision and I have been tempted to expose all of it in detail. I had intended to post a copy of the actual resignation letter that I had sent the group back on October 20 which explained what all has happened. I don’t like being labeled as a cheater and wanted to let everyone know my side of the story.

However, I decided not to go about it like that. 

I love short track racing, always have and always will. It has been a part of my life for over 40 years. I have been blessed to work with and compete against some of the best in the game. I decided that anything that I post negative will just do more harm to the racers, tracks , promoters and everyone involved.

People are going to have their own opinions about all of this and nothing will change that. Engine building has not been my only role during this 40-plus year span. I have driven a little, been a tire changer, crew chief, spotter, and owned cars with others driving, raced with my son as a driver and have enjoyed about every minute of it.

The engine building side is just where I ended up making a living. I came up in the 90’s competing against some real race engine builders, I was the young gun just trying to find my way. Guys like Keith Dorton, Carl Wegner, Dennis Boyd, Clements Automotive, Race Engine Design, Freght Train Peters. and many more.

When you were up against these guys you had your work cut out. They were the best and to compete you had worked hard and pay attention. What you didn’t do was cry to the technical inspectors about what you thought they were doing just because you couldn’t keep up. That wasn’t my job, we had respect for each other. I have been involved in a couple different issues with the SEAL group and feel like both cases have been driven by crybaby engine builders.

This Pro Late Model engine program is a broken mess. I know it, they know it and the racers know it. Hopefully there will be some changes made soon that will get this type of racing back on track. It’s not an easy task for the promoters, I will agree.

There have been a couple of press releases from the group that stated multiple infractions have been found. I will say that I disagree and will say that actually no infractions concerning the engines has been confirmed. We have had all of the engines in question checked multiple times by multiple sources and everything has checked to be in tolerance. It appears that a couple of tweeks on the settings of a machine either intentionally or by mistake is where this all started.

The only infraction that we are guilty of is the lack of submitting the required paperwork in a timely manner. We have agreed to provide that to the group. I feel like the SEAL groups decision to allow sufficient time to have the engines re-sealed was fair and Thank them for that. I have been in discussions with Dennis Borem at PME and will be directing all of the Pro Late Model engines to him.

He is currently an approved builder (and) I feel like he will do an excellent job. I will have no involvement in any of this other than answering any questions or information that will help him and the customer.

I am nearing my retirement age but still enjoy what I do. I want to use my time improving my SLM program as well as working on some other more challenging projects. We are planning on installing a chassis dyno early next year. That seems like something me and my guys will enjoy.

Good Luck to everyone and I apologize for the inconvenience.

-Jeff Hamner

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.



  1. Brian Mace

    November 3, 2023 at 7:51 am

    I have never personally met Jeff but competed as an engine builder working for Joey Robinson Racing Engines as well as on my own. Jeff has always had strong engines and is someone i respected, as many of the ones he mentioned and more. Racing has gotten so political and the politics are destroying short track racing. My love for racing continues as i find myself a competition director of a series, Southeast Super Trucks where we race lms style cars and trucks. This is mainly a crate engine series and from many years of building engines, there are grey areas and it is often hard to navigate what could but subjective.
    I feel this could be one of those situations and Jeff responded with respect and professionalism, as anyone would expect. Moving forward, think, treat others with the same respect you would want to be treated with. Lets all work to keep short track racing alive, not kill it. Just my opinion.

  2. Joe Epps

    November 4, 2023 at 11:09 am

    Let’s face it, racing is not what it used to be, money has basically ruined it, look at NASCAR today. I used to race go karts, it got to be the same too, we had a saying, “Speed Costs Money, How Fast Do You Want To Go??”

  3. Haxall Thomas

    November 6, 2023 at 11:58 pm

    Crate and sealed engines are a joke! Have been and always will be. It’s just lazy and cheap! Tracks are lazy for not paying for tech inspectors that are competent. Racers are lazy for wanting plug and play simplicity. The concept to save money has never been achieved. Racers should stop being lazy and learn how to become real mechanics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




More in Pro Late Models